Encyclopedia Hearsay | Paris

The Encyclopedia Hearsay was founded on four principles: misinformation, rumours, half-remembered conversations, and outright lies. Anyone can contribute, so long as articles are written with no research whatsoever. If you are citing The Land Before Time as a source, or abusing footnotes like David Foster Wallace, you are on the right track.

Paris is a city in France, Europe, Earth. It is a very important city, historically and culturally. I went there for the first time in May this year(1). Before I went, everything I knew about the city came from Before Sunset, Ratatouille, Moulin Rouge(2), Hugo, and Owen Wilson in Paris. My amalgamated idea of Paris basically lived up to the hype aside from the fact I didn’t see a single rat anywhere(3), nor was there any time travel. C’est la vie(4). 

Obviously, the most famous things about Paris are the landmarks that are literally everywhere. There’s the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, disguised as the world’s largest metaphor for a P and a V, respectively(5). There’s also the Lourve, with its sweet glass pyramids and not-so-sweet DaVinci Code connections. There’s the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, which is featured in a shot of every movie set in Paris ever. There’s the Bastille tower thingy near the Bastille Metro station, which is at the center of an enormous traffic circle where I saw nearly 500 accidents in the minute I was there(6). There’s the Invalides palace where Napoleon is buried, but I’ll get to him in a second, the little bastard. 

The Seine is a nightmare-scape basically. It’s the river that flows through the center of town. I have to imagine there are no less than a thousand bodies at the bottom of it and the city used to pour its shit out its windows. I believe that if you touch the water, its like drinking water out of the wrong grail at the end of Last Crusade.

A bunch of famous people lived, died, and spent considerable time in Paris. Ernest Hemingway spent time there in the twenties, did some writing, and probably drank a winery worth of booze. I made it to a couple of cafés that Hemingway used to spend time in. Sadly, they are now crazy-overpriced and tourist-ridden(7). Oscar Wilde obviously spent some time in Paris, because his grave is there. You used to be able to put lipstick on and kiss it, but that started eroding the grave, so his grave is encased in glass now. James Morrison’s grave is also in Paris. I guess that’s where he got bloated and died. His grave is also protected because I think people were breaking parts off of his mediocre grave in order to take some mediocreness home with them. The Hunchback of Notre Dame was probably a real person too, but, like Jesus, may have had his accomplishments blown a little out of proportion. Napoleon has an enormous building to house his grave in Paris because he was the fucking worst. A little dude with a complex had to go and make this giant castle to make himself feel better after he died. Napoleon must thank his lucky stars every day he wakes up in little person hell that the only records that existed back then were paintings and statues. 


1. Research is typically frowned on for the Encyclopedia Hearsay, but I’m going to allow it because it’s my project and made up rules, and also, I didn’t really learn anything there.
2. Which I never actually saw. It was just on in the background in high school when I was making out with my girlfriend.
3. Though I’ve seen the Seine; rats are probably everywhere. 
4. French for “fuck it.”
5. Not to be confused with “respectfully.”
6. Tourists + soccer fans + a billion confused drivers = “Jesus Christ, look out!”
7. Myself included. I don’t have any delusion that I’m better than other tourists. Just the fanny-pack-wearing ones who were there. Dear lord.


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